Geico 500 at Talladega: NASCAR DFS Premium Rankings

Dega DFS for the Geico 500 this weekend and the vibes are right in the NASCAR world. Many of you know the drill by now if you have been playing DFS for a while or following “the strategy” for superspeedway racing. There are still plenty of casual players to take advantage of that don’t understand how this works. If the race stays clean and plays out like a normal race, I’ll likely be living on the streets and broke.

I rank every driver and tier them based on price. There is no sense to compare Chase Elliot to Quin Houff, but comparing Chase Elliot to Kevin Harvick, for example, tends to make sense. The rankings will be posted first and represent the “initial pass” on my approach to the slate.

The notes represent my “second pass” and will provide more insight into how I am building lineups, what I have learned from looking around the industry, and mention any situations where I’m “hotter” or “colder” on anyone than when I set the rankings. For example, I may mention that there is a large gap in my interest level after the top three ranked drivers in a given tier. Another example would be to point out that drivers ranked 1-3 are interchangeable in terms of my interest. My suggestion is to enter multiple lineups and use the rankings and notes as a guide as you build lineups.

If you are a more serious player building 40+ lineups, I do suggest purchasing a lineup optimizer tool. These are affordable for our more advanced players and you can get them relatively cheap – especially if you are purchasing for NASCAR only. We will definitely look to partner with a third party or build one in-house for next season. If you need help selecting one, I’m here to help explain and recommend what you need. To reiterate – this is only for advanced players and you do not need this unless you have full command of the tool. In fact, it can do more harm than good if you do not know what you are doing.

NASCAR DFS Tiered Rankings – Geico 500

Rankings Notes/General Stategy

The normal format will return next week, but I’ll briefly hit on some general thoughts and approaches to playing NASCAR DFS at Superspeedways.

Projections are hardly valuable and rankings should be viewed loosely for Superspeedway racing. This week you should be spending all of your time focusing on roster construction and lineup building. The optimal lineup over the past several years has left a ton of salary on the table and featured very few combinations of drivers starting in the front.

Here are the four ways of thinking or strategies:

  • Method 1 (my lowest % of builds): Treat it like a normal race and hope the wrecks do not come. Combine a couple of favorites or doms with some PD or finishing position upside.
  • Method 2: Limit your drivers starting in the top 10 and top 20 and prioritize the back and leaving salary.
  • Method 3: Method 2 but on steroids. Maybe have 0-1 drivers starting in the top 12 and 0-2 drivers starting in the top 20
  • Method 4: This is what Chase and I call “Mixure” where you basically intentionally try to find that middle ground between Superspeedway Strategy and normal Strategy.

My ownership will reflect in this order: Method 2, Method 3, Method 4, Method 1.

Dominator points are less of a factor here with fastest laps usually distributed among the field instead of the race leader. If one driver leads a ton of laps, yes it will be a factor, but you should not be weighing that in your thought process like a normal race. The only way you should be heavy on tier 1 drivers is if you are going heavy Method 1.

You should be cringing when you make the majority of your lineups if you are playing Method 2 and Method 3, but that is kind of the point. Lineups will look awful but prior races and DFS lineups support the theory of every single driver having a much higher chance of wrecking out than normal. And the drivers pushing for position early and often are more likely to be involved. Does this mean the guys in the back are safe? No – but I’m just telling you how this normally works.

Platform Insights (DraftKings/FanDuel)

I’m adding this section just to point out a few things across platforms as I’m building lineups. As a reminder, place differential, laps led, and fastest laps are more important on DraftKings. FanDuel is all about finishing position so your goal should be to get as many drivers that can finish inside the top 10/top 5.

  • Coming back next week – salary should be a non factor this weekend

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